The Best Advice For A New Entrepreneur Today

The Best Advice For A New Entrepreneur Today

In an online forum that I’m in, the questions was asked ‘What’s the best piece of advice you would give to a new entrepreneur today?’

There were some great answers, so I picked out a few to share with you.

Don’t work without a contract, especially if you know them.

Yes!  This was a hot topic in a recent event that I hosted.  We can tend to work on trust with people we know such as family and friends but this is invariably where things go wrong.  We never know what is around the corner and without a contract, long standing relationships can be torn apart.

Invest in your business. Do not rely on free ANYTHING to grow your business

Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say not rely on free anything, but yes, if you are serious about your business, you are going to need to invest.  If you rely on free everything, it is going to take forever to get where you want to be.

Stay consistent and remember to always take a break when you are feeling overwhelmed

Yep!  Couldn’t agree more.  Consistency and persistency are key.  Too many give up too early after trying a new tactic for a week or so without results.  It takes time to build your visibility and gain relationships. 

And, yes, it is so important to take a break to rest, reflect and recharge, particularly when we are feeling overwhelmed.

Take action sooner. Do not get stuck in a learning loop

How many courses and books have you studied but never fully actioned?  Far too many I suspect.  Don’t fool yourself you are learning more.  There is no point learning anything if you don’t take what you have learned and put it into action.  I’ve read a book how to get a six pack but still don’t have one because I don’t do the exercises!!

Have set time to work your business. It cannot be a hobby.

If you work ad hoc as and when you feel like it, don’t be surprised when you get ad hoc results.  Schedule work time, get disciplined and work!

Never give up. And don’t take anything on board from people who want to steal your dream. Associate with people who have drive and are positive in their attitudes.

Oh, those dream stealers!  They all want to quash your dream because they don’t have the courage to do what you are doing.  They say you will act and become like the 5 people you spend the most time with.  Choose people wisely.

Dream stealers

Schedule your free time first and always be firm about it. — Work will take up as much time as you give it. So, schedule your free time first and then make the space for work around that.

When you’re on your death bed, (sorry to bring morbidity into this) I doubt you will say you wish you had spent more time at work.  Get your priorities right.  Block out time for friends and family and be present with them 100%.  You can always make more money.  You can’t get more time.

Do your accounting and get everything setup correctly from the start!

Cash is king and is the one deciding factor on your business success or failure.  You must get a grip on the finances.  Very simply, you need to know what money is coming in, what is going out and what is left.  Profit determines success.

Be authentically you, don’t fall for the fake stats and trust your gut. You got it…even when you doubt your ability…Keep on Pushing!

Yes, be you.  You are your business.  There is no point trying to be something you’re not as people will see through you as being fake.

You don’t need your website, business cards or a perfect branding strategy before you start. You need to get started and keep showing up.

True!  Yes, a website and branding can help grow your business but to start with, just get out there and start selling.  There is the danger of trying to get everything perfect before launching but this can take far too long and cause you to miss valuable sales.

Every day do a little something to get you closer to your goal.

This is one of my favourites.  If you take just one step each day, you will eventually be guaranteed to complete a marathon.  Trying to do everything can seem overwhelming and so we end up doing nothing.  Focus on one small thing each day and don’t give up.

Do you have something to add?  Leave your comment below.

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Is a home office really the best option for your business?

Is a home office really the best option for your business?

A HOME OFFICE VERSUS AN OFF-SITE OFFICE

Which office type is best for your business?

Every company or business establishment have their own office space where customers or potential clients visit them to conduct business. An office is a place where all professional matters are handled and any business transactions are conducted.  Having an office premise gives a professional image to a business and is preferable for many small business owners.However, some people find working at an office inconvenient whether from commuting time, restricted opening hours if the office is within a shared building etc.  Or, they may simply not be able to afford the premises.  Therefore, many small business owners decide to run their business from a home office.

How do you choose?

Working from Home

Home-based business owners set-up their home office where they handle all work-related tasks. In fact, most set-up their own home office where they can entertain clients and business associates at home. Many find this a convenient set-up since they can attend to their work while being able to still spend time with their family.

However, the accessibility of the comforts available within your home, it is easy to fall into the wrong idea that you are not working. Hence, you need to develop a sound level of self-discipline in order to separate business from pleasure and focus on what you need to do at work.

Which is better?

There are several considerations that one has to make before deciding whether to opt for a home office or an off-site office instead. Each one has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, it is difficult to conclude that one is the better option over the other. The best way for you to decide is to come up with a checklist of these pros and cons. Then, determine whether the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa.

Also, you need to consider your own attitude towards work. If you are the type of person who had to be constantly reminded and lacks the initiative to work on their own, then setting up a home office could be a devastating idea. Below are a list of pro’s and con’s that would help you come up with a decision.

Home office: Pro’s and Con’s

Pros:

  • You have more freedom of flexibility in terms of working hours.
  • You can reduce costs such as office rental, fuel usage (from driving to and from the office), and tax deductions.
  • It is convenient since you won’t have to dress up just to get to work. You can have your breakfast or spend time with your family and then conveniently check your email.

Cons:

  • If you’re the type who needs to get motivated to work, a home office might not be conducive to you getting your work done.
  • There are a lot of potential interruptions at home.
  • There are a lot of home office considerations to make such as securing all office equipment you need at home, office furniture, and some other operational needs.

 

Off-site office: Pro’s and Con’s

Pros:

  • The level of pressure and urgency motivates you to produce quality work.
  • The working environment is ideally designed to make working easier for you.
  • You have access to all of the equipment or tools you need to conduct your work.

Cons:

  • You have to commute from and to work daily. It becomes more difficult for those who live far from the office.
  • Dealing with other workers within the building can be difficult for some, especially with clashing interests and personalities.
  • The expense or renting the premises

 

The decision is now yours as to which is best for you and your business.  Whichever you choose, ensure you have everything you need to hand in your premises and make it a professional, yet comfortable place to work.

 

 

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What to do when you get distracted by bright shiny objects

What to do when you get distracted by bright shiny objects

Do you suffer Bright Shiny Object syndrome?

You know the feeling.  You are in the middle of something, maybe doing some research on a project you are working on.  And then you see it.  First a little twinkle out the corner of your eye.  And then it turns into this wonderful bright shiny object that simply demands your attention. 

Sound familiar? 

We’ve all been there.  And this Bright Shiny Object is the best thing since sliced bread.  Until ….. you see another one.  Oh, what to do.  So many shiny things to chase after!!!! 

Now, these distractions can be just for a few minutes.  Even in this situation, you are going to lose so much time trying to refocus on what you were originally working on.  But the worst case is when this takes you down a new track and you leave your old plans unfinished. 

The danger point is that you keep chasing new things and never actually complete anything.  Therefore, you never get the results you set out to achieve and so the vicious cycle of chasing another BSO continues. 

Here are my three top tips to help deal with the distractions. 

Determine your end goal 

Firstly, what is your end goal?  Keep looking at your plan and make sure that everything you do takes you towards to your goal, not away from it. It is too easy to get side tracked and led astray so by referring to your plan on a regular basis you can make sure you keep on track and focused on what you ultimately want to achieve. 

Yes, you are bound to get caught up with other ideas as you grow your business, but if you keep stopping and starting something new, you will never get anything finished.  You will end up confusing yourself and ultimately, your clients!! 

Commit the bright shiny object to paper 

Whenever you have a new idea pop up, write it down.  Have an ideas book or board.  Pop everything on here.  And then sit on it!!  Wait for a few days at least and then come back to it.  Does it still look so attractive?  Are you still fired up by it?  Is it going to take you closer to your end goal or is just a distraction? 

Make a date in your diary 

If you decide you still want to go ahead with it, don’t start until you have finished what you were working on before this new idea came up.  Your old idea will have been important enough for you to start on, so make sure you complete that first.  You may just find that when you have completed what you were already working on, you have found yet another bright shiny object and so your last idea has lost its attraction. 

Focus on one thing at a time, do it, and do it well.  Then you can move on to the next. 

Do you suffer from BSO syndrome?  Share with me in the comments below. 

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What you need to know before you start a business

What you need to know before you start a business

Would you love to start a business but don’t think it’s possible?

Have you always dreamt of setting up your own business but the thought of entering the big wide world of entrepreneurship simply scares you more than Freddy Kruger popping in for supper on Friday 13th?

Would you love to escape the humdrum of working 9 to 5, being told where to be at what time, when you can eat and when you are allowed to take much needed time off with your family?

Well, your dream to start a business needn’t be so scary.  In fact, whilst it will undoubtedly be hard work, it can also be quite exciting and give a new lease of life that leaves you energised and looking forward to each day.

But first things first.  There are a few things to consider if you want to make your journey as smooth as possible and go from fearful to fabulous.

What’s your passion?

The start-up businesses that have the best chance of success are those that are based on a passion that will carry you through the difficult times.  Doing something you love day in and day out doesn’t feel like work.  It feels like fulfilment.

So, think hard about what you love doing.  What can you see yourself doing in 10 years and still loving?

What are you good at?

Now here is the tough question!  What are you good at?  It’s no good having a passion for something but not being very good at it.  People simply won’t part with their hard-earned cash.

Putting passion and talent together, I know that I love walking my dog, but keeping her under control is a challenge and I am sure if I tried to start a dog walking business, my passion would turn into a chore.  You need to think about this carefully.  It’s no use starting a gourmet burger bar if your cooking skills are akin to flipping burgers at McDonalds, no matter how much you love being in the kitchen.

What will people pay for?

The third piece of the start a business jigsaw is considering what people will pay for, and enough people to make you a profit.  You may love crocheting tea cosy’s but if everyone is now making individual cups of tea rather than using a tea pot, you are not going to make any money from your business idea.

I started my business consultancy because I have an absolute passion for helping other women build a life and income stream that gives them the freedom to do what they have always dreamt of.  I knew I was good at this as I had a proven track record of helping hundreds of people start up and build their own successful business.  And I knew that if people were serious about their business, they would willingly pay to get the help and support they needed to kickstart their success.

 

So now you have your idea to start a business.  But what next?  There are a few key steps you need to take if you really want to give yourself the best chance of success.

Self-belief

The first step is self-belief.  You must:

  • Believe you are good enough
  • Believe what you sell is worth it
  • Believe that your clients will gladly pay you

Because quite simply if you don’t believe in yourself and what you are doing, then why the hell should anyone else?  This can be a real challenge for women starting their business so take the time to write down all things you have achieved in your life, all the compliments you have received, qualifications you have gained etc.  Look at this on a regular basis and start to believe in yourself.

Create a plan

Remember the adage ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’.  Yes?  Well it applies to you when you start a business.

It’s all too easy to become so enthused and excited about your new idea that you dive in without any real thought and planning.  This invariably leads to a rude awakening down the line.

You need to plan:

  • How much you want to earn
  • Your capacity for how much you can make
  • What hours you are going to work
  • Who you need to help you and what resources you need
  • How much it is going to cost to get your idea off the ground and to keep it running
  • What you are going to charge
  • How much profit you will make (and will this be enough for you to live off)
  • How you are going to be better and/or different from your competitors to stand out from the crowd
  • Who is going to buy your product or service and how you are going to get them to know about it
  • How you are going to take payment and deliver to your customer

 

Test your idea

To minimize the risk of failure, try testing your business idea out on a small scale before going all in.  This will provide you with valuable feedback as to whether others love your idea as much as you do and if they are willing to pay for it.  You can then tweak your idea if necessary and minimise the risk of a spending far too much blood, sweat and tears on something that simply isn’t going to work.

If you are currently in a day job, by testing your idea out of working hours on a smaller scale, you can continue to earn a salary to pay your household bills each month and ease the financial pressure whilst getting your business off the ground.

Seek advice

If you’re serious about starting your own business and making it a success, find yourself someone who has been there and done it and made it a success to help you on your path.  Trying to go it alone will be both be lonely and quite likely a very expensive mistake.  Find someone with the experience and independent perspective to help you steer clear of the numerous start-up mistakes so many make.

 

If you follow these top tips then you can start a business.  It ain’t gonna be easy.  It’s going to be a rollercoaster of a ride.  I remember the days of going from a feeling of euphoria that I was going to be a millionaire by the end of the year to the depths of despair that I was going to be bankrupt by the end of the month all in the space of 5 minutes!  But if you are brave enough to hang on tight, you will make it to the end and the feeling of achievement will be worth every single bit.

There is nothing better than working on your terms, at the hours you want, and setting your own ceiling of income to live the life you have always dreamt of.

I’m one of the lucky ones.  I have survived the hard times.  I now have a business and life that I simply love and could not be happier.  If you would like me to help you build the same for yourself, take a look at all The Small Business Kit has to offer.

 

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Key advice to anyone starting their business today

Key advice to anyone starting their business today

Recently in my Facebook group, I asked the fabulous ladies what piece of advice they would you give to someone starting their business today.  There were some great answers so I thought I would share them with you here today.

  • Be consistent and positive at all times
  • Failure is natural and part of the process. Learn from it and do things better next time! 🙂
  • Be consistent
  • Enjoy it. Be patient, it won’t happen overnight
  • Be sure that there is a niche in the market for your product or service and be different!
  • Research, research, research.
  • Join groups like this one as going it alone never works.
  • Cultivate the art of patience, have an open mind, learn new things and remain flexible
  • Make sure you have a solid foundation first before you to try to run & lots of patience
  • Ensure you absolutely love the product or service you are offering, otherwise it will never reach it’s potential!
  • Trust your gut, even when ‘experts,’ can’t see what you can see!
  • Find your tribe – we all need people to support and believe in us. Appreciate them hard!
  • Be the person that you want to be, act as if you’ve already achieved everything you want
  • Accept every offer of help that you are given, it’s tough going solo.
  • Don’t buy crap you don’t need.
  • Read lots. Set goals.
  • Get one package done really well before branching out.
  • Focus on one social media platform.
  • Surround yourself with brilliant people.
  • Spend time on your business from the start. Get great systems and take note of everything you do. It’s amazing how fast we forget how we started.

 

Feel free to add your own piece of advice that you would give to someone starting out in the comments box below.

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Three key things to build a successful business

Three key things to build a successful business

There are three key things you need to build a successful business:

 

  • Time

  • Energy

  • Money

If any one of these is lacking, it is going to need to be made up for in one of the other areas.

Let’s take a look at them one at a time.

Time

Building a successful business takes time.  And it is likely to take a lot longer than you think.  All too often we set up our small business thinking we are going to be drawing a full time wage within a month or so.  All too often the reality is different.  We end up working for nothing for the first 12 months or just drawing a paltry sum that barely covers a pair of tights each month.

And on the subject of time, everything we do seems to take longer than expected.  I will just write a quick blog I hear you say.  And three hours later you are still staring at a blank screen.  I will just make a quick update to my website I hear you say.  And two weeks later you are still playing around with the design and the layout.  I will quickly set up a mailing system I hear you say.  And days later you are still tearing your hair out and wondering what the hell everyone else is on it about when they say it is all so easy.

If you don’t have time, you are going to have invest money to make up for it.  You are going to have to spend money on marketing rather than trying to do everything for free on social media.  You are going to have to spend money outsourcing all those tasks that are eating up the precious hours in your day.

Energy

You are going to need massive amounts of energy to build your own business.  The time it takes will easily leave you feeling drained and exhausted and it will be all too easy to feel like throwing in the towel.

One of the dangers of building a business, particularly when working from home, is that we let healthy habits slip.  We stop taking exercise as we just want to get one more task squeezed into the day.  We stop eating healthily and grab chocolate bars and coffee whilst chained to our computer screens.

This soon leaves us feeling sluggish and out of kilter.

To build a successful business, you need to take of yourself first and foremost and keep your energy levels up.  You need to take regular exercise, you need to keep healthy and you need to get enough sleep.  If you energy levels drain, you will end up either ill or having to take time out to recharge the batteries.

If you don’t have energy, it is going to cost you more in time and money.  It will take more time to build your business or you will have to invest more money to get someone to take over your work for you.

Money

Yes, you are going to have to invest some money!  I’m sorry to break the bad news to you but those get rich quick schemes where you only have to put in a few pounds or dollars up front just don’t work.  I have had numerous people send me their schemes but when I ask to see their bank details or profit and loss statement to validate their claims, they disappear into the mist never to be heard of again.

You need to invest in the tools to do the job.  You can get many free versions of systems and software, but if you really want to build your business, it is the paid versions that you need.  You need to invest in yourself and the businesses that really move forward faster than the others invest in a coach.  I invested in thousands for a coach for myself.  Even though I am a business coach, I still need someone to help me with new ideas and to hold me accountable for achieving results.  Without this, my business would have taken vastly longer to be successful.

If you don’t invest money it is going to cost you more time and energy.  You can try to build a business on a shoestring but you are likely to end up just running a very expensive hobby for many years to come.  And more time is going to take more energy. You really need to look at the potential return on investment and savings in time and energy rather than holding on those purse strings.

 

Do you have these three key areas covered or is the lack of one of these hampering your success?  Let me know in the comments below.

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